• Wanting is not expected utility. Forthcoming in the Journal of Philosophy.

  • In this paper, I criticize Ethan Jerzak’s view that ‘want’ has only one sense, the mixed expected utility sense. First, I show that his appeals to ‘really’-locutions fail to explain away the counterintuitive predictions of his view. Second, I present two classes of cases, which I call “preference tie” and “aspiration” cases, that pose difficulties for any expected utility lexical entry for ‘want.’ I argue that in order to account for these cases, one needs to concede that ‘want’ has a sense, according to which wanting is a matter of subjectively preferring p-alternatives to not-p-alternatives. Finally, I introduce some considerations for and against the view that ‘want’ also has another sense, which is roughly synonymous with "need."

    keywords: want, desire reports, ambiguity, expected utility, preference
  • Truth-conditional variability of color ascriptions: empirical results concerning the polysemy hypothesis. (with Adrian Ziółkowski) forthcoming in Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy Vol. 5 (eds. J. Knobe & S. Nichols)

  • Recent experimental work has shown that the truth-value judgments of color predications, i.e. utterances of the form “the leaves on my tree are green” or “these walls are brown,” are influenced by slight changes in the context of utterance (Hansen and Chemla 2013, Ziółkowski, 2021). Most explanations of this phenomenon focus on the semantics of color adjectives. However, it is not clear if these explanations do justice to the nuances of the empirical data on context-sensitivity of color predications (Ziółkowski, 2021). In contrast to the adjectival explanations, Agustin Vicente (2015) has recently proposed that the context-sensitivity of color predications can be explained by invoking the polysemy of the noun. In this paper, we present the results of three studies designed to empirically test this hypothesis: a traditional survey experiment (Study 1), an exploratory correlational study inspired by the semantic integration paradigm (Study 2a), and a follow-up experiment (Study 2b) that was designed to mitigate possible shortcomings of Study 2a. The results of our studies present preliminary evidence against Vicente’s theory.

    keywords: polysemy, ambiguity, context-sensitivity, color adjectives, Travis cases
  • A paper on slur reclamation. (under review)

    Reclamation of a slur involves a creation of a new, positively-valenced meaning that gradually replaces the old pejorative meaning. This means that at a critical stage, the slur is ambiguous. It has been claimed that this ambiguity is polysemy. However, this view fails to explain why the introduction of the new meaning forces the old one out of existence. I argue that this datapoint can be explained by invoking the mechanism of homonymic conflict, and, therefore, that the ambiguity involved in reclamation is homonymy. I argue that my account provides a neat way of conceptualizing the difference between two types of conceptual engineering, namely reclamation and amelioration. I conclude by suggesting that we need to rethink the standard ways of drawing the distinction between polysemy and homonymy.

    keywords: polysemy, homonymy, ambiguity, slurs, reclamation, homonymic conflict
  • Metaphysics as exploration.

  • I apply the concept of explore/exploit tensions to analytic metaphysics. Doing so sheds a new light on the relation between naturalistic and armchair metaphysics. This yields a novel answer to the question “what is the value of armchair metaphysics?”, which combines the insights of the heuristic view (that it generates new ideas) and the aesthetic view (that it has aesthetic value), while avoiding their limitations.

    My discussion invites two more general conclusions. First, it suggests a novel take on the relation between the epistemic value and the aesthetic value. On my account, aesthetic value is only indirectly connected to truth; it is conducive to exploratory value, which – if certain conditions are met – is conducive to truth. Second, it offers a cautionary tale against a certain kind of pragmatist attitude, which holds that the best strategy for pursuing a value V is for every individual activity to directly aim at V.

    keywords: metaphysics, naturalism, the aesthetic attitude, explore/exploit
  • A paper on gossip. (Title TBD) (with Shannon Brick)


  • Associative exportation. P. Stalmaszczyk & M. Hinton (eds.), "Philosophical Approaches to Language and Communication," Berlin: Peter Lang, 2022: 343-357.

  • Sophisticated textualism and sanctions. Studia Iuridica 2019 82: 343-357.

  • Against ‘the input view’ of legal gaps. Archiwum Filozofii Prawa i Filozofii Społecznej 2019 2(20): 75-88.

  • Objective and epistemic gradability: is the New Angle on the Knobe Effect empirically grounded? (with Bartosz Maćkiewicz), Philosophical Psychology 2019 32(2): 234-256.

  • Can a consequentialist be a good friend? Etyka 2016 52: 56-79.